Pact unites Gaul cablers

Deal will take 2-3 months to finalize

PARIS — Canal Plus and France Telecom are selling their joint cable interests to private equity company Cinven and French cable group Altice for $707 million, further consolidating the struggling Gallic cable sector.

The deal has been in the offing since summer and will take another two to three months to finalize.

France Telecom Cable and Canal Plus’ NC Numericable will merge, creating France’s second-largest cable operator, with 1.7 million subs.

Just ahead with around 1.8 million is the merged UPC France and Noos, bought earlier this year for $791 million by John Malone’s UnitedGlobalCorp.

Canal Plus and France Telecom will each continue to hold just under 20% of the new cable entity, with venture capital group Cinven owning 50.1% and fledgling cabler Altice 10.1%, the companies said Tuesday.

Cinven and Altice plan to invest between $400 million and $500 million on modernizing the networks.

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